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E-tolls system to get cheaper

The high-tech units drivers need to use the electronic tolls system on expressways may soon be cheaper, transport officials said yesterday.


They also said more lanes for drivers who sign up for the system are to be opened.


The officials said they were discussing a discount plan for the on-board units but didn\'t give details. They cost 430 yuan (US$63) at present.


Since last weekend, entrance lanes for vehicles fitted with the units have been set up at several toll stations and this will continue at all major fare stations on local expressways, Shen Xiaosu, deputy director of the local transport and construction commission said.


Electronic toll users complained the system didn\'t made their journeys any faster as they were sharing lanes with ordinary vehicles while drivers manually paying the toll couldn\'t see any advantage in going electronic.


The lanes for the exclusive use of drivers using the electronic system are expected to change all that.


E-tolling will improve traffic flow over the next couple of years if more drivers registered, city officials said.


Meanwhile, congestion in the Xinzhuang area caused by a partial closure of the A8 was easing, traffic authorities said.


Officials said they were observing traffic in and around the city\'s southwest Xinzhuang area every day and would carry out adjustments early next week if necessary.


More drivers were becoming aware of the changes and were using alternative routes, the officials said.


(Shanghai Daily May 21, 2009)